USS Hamner (DD-718)

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USS Hamner DD-718 pre fram.jpg
USS Hamner DD-718
Career (United States)
Name: USS Hamner (DD-718)
Namesake: Henry Rawlings Hamner
Builder: Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Port Newark, New Jersey
Laid down: 25 April 1945
Launched: 24 November 1945
Commissioned: 12 July 1946
Struck: 1 October 1979
Honors and
awards:
5 battle stars & Presidential Unit Citation (Korea)
Fate: Sold to Taiwan, 17 December 1980
Career (Republic of China)
Name: ROCS Yun Yang (DD-27)
Acquired: 17 December 1980
Reclassified: DDG-927
Decommissioned: 16 December 2003
Fate: Sunk as a target, 6 September 2005
General characteristics
Class & type: Gearing-class destroyer
Displacement: 3460 tons (Full)
Length: 390 ft 6 in (119 m) (overall)
Beam: 40 ft 10 in (12.5 m)
Draft: 14 ft 4 in (4.4 m)
Propulsion: 60,000 shp (45 MW);
geared turbines;
2 propellers
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h)
Range: 4,500 nmi. at 20 knots
(8,300 km at 37 km/h)
Complement: 336 officers and enlisted
Armament:   6 × 5 in.(127 mm)/38 guns,
12 × 40 mm AA guns,
11 × 20 mm AA guns,
10 × 21 in. torpedo tubes,
  6 × depth charge projectors,
  2 × depth charge tracks

USS Hamner (DD-718) was a Gearing-class destroyer in the United States Navy during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. She was named for Henry Rawlings Hamner.

Hamner was launched on 24 November 1945 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Port Newark, New Jersey; sponsored by Mrs. Henry Rawlings Hamner, wife of Lt. Hamner; and commissioned on 12 July 1946, Commander Joseph B. Swain in command.

Service history[edit]

Pacific Fleet, 1945–1950[edit]

After shakedown in the Caribbean Sea, Hamner reported to the Pacific Fleet on 24 December 1946 and immediately departed for her first deployment with the 7th Fleet. The destroyer spent nine months operating with Destroyer Division 111 out of various Chinese and Japanese ports before returning to the States for six months of training operations. Hamner followed this pattern of cruises until hostilities began in Korea on 24 June 1950.

Korea 1950–1953[edit]

Deployed in the Far East at the time, Hamner sailed to the Korean coast and began shore bombardment of Communist positions and supply lines. After participating in the evacuation of Yongdok and the defense of Pohang Dong, Hamner joined Task Force 77 for the amphibious operations against Inchon on 15 September 1950.

After operating along the Korean coast to screen aircraft carriers whose planes were pounding Communist troops, Hamner returned to the States in March 1951. She was back on line in October 1951 and continued to patrol waters surrounding the peninsula with various task forces and bombardment groups, effectively damaging and checking the enemy. In March 1952 she spent five weeks on shore bombardment off the east coast of Korea near Kojo causing much damage to the enemy. Returning to the States in May 1952, Hamner resumed her duties along the Korean coast on 2 January 1953, remaining there on the bombline, at the siege of Wonsan Harbor, and on Formosa patrol until the s:Korean Armistice Agreement of 27 July 1953.

Pacific Fleet, 1953–1963[edit]

Hamner returned to the Western Pacific every year thereafter visiting ports in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Australia (arrival 2 August 1956 in Brisbane and arrival 6 Oct 1957 in Melbourne) and, and 1959. The destroyer made many good-will visits to Asian ports and engaged in exercises and Formosa patrol. She arrived off Taiwan for six weeks duty with the Taiwan Patrol Force on 31 December 1958, just after another flareup of the Quemoy-Matsu crisis. When not deployed in the Pacific, Hamner trained out of San Diego, California.

Entering the San Francisco Ship Yard in January 1962, she underwent a Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) overhaul designed to add 10 to 20 years to her operating efficiency. Fitted with a new superstructure and the Navy's most modern electronic equipment, Hamner left the shipyard on 5 December 1962 and, after training, sailed for her 13th WestPac cruise on 18 May 1963. During this cruise she was part of the ready amphibious group in South Vietnam coastal waters in September.

Vietnam, 1965–1966[edit]

Hamner returned to San Diego on 24 November. She operated along the West Coast throughout 1964 and sailed again for the Orient on 5 January 1965. Arriving Subic Bay on the 27th, she escorted aircraft carrier Hancock (CVA-19) to the Gulf of Tonkin. On 15 March she joined aircraft carrier Coral Sea (CVA-43) in "Yankee Team" operations. On 10 May she headed north to cover Seabee landings at Chu Lai. "Operation Market Time" began five days later and on the 20th Hamner shelled Communist positions in South Vietnam in the first scheduled shore bombardment by the U.S. Nayy since the Korean War. Thereafter she screened Coral Sea, bombarded the Trung Phan area on 25 June, and covered the landing of Marines from Iwo Jima (LPH-2) at Qui Nhon on 1 July. As mid-July approached, the destroyer headed home, reaching San Francisco on the 26th.

Overhaul at Hunter's Point and operations off the West Coast occupied the next year. Hamner got underway for her 14th WestPac deployment on 2 July 1966. Late in the month she bombarded South Vietnam. Following patrol duty, she steamed up the Song Long Tao River to shell the Rung Sat Special Zone.

Hamner joined TG 77.6 as plane guard for Oriskany (CVA-34) on 1 October and continued this duty until receiving an emergency call from the carrier at 0730 on the 26th "I am on fire." Speeding alongside, for hours Hamner sprayed cooling water on her charred and buckled bulkheads. After the fight to save the ship had been won, Hammer escorted her to Subic Bay for repairs.

Returning to the gunline off Vietnam on 6 November, the destroyer spent two weeks in "Operation Traffic Cop", shelling Communist junks bringing arms and supplies to the Viet Cong. Within a fortnight, Hamner had destroyed 67 craft. On 14 November and 19 November shore batteries fired on Hamner, and John R. Craig (DD-885). Although several rounds sprayed the destroyers with shrapnel, neither ship was damaged. On each occasion the American ships moved just outside range of the enemy guns and hammered the Communist batteries to silence. Leaving the gunline on 20 November, a month and a day later, Hamner reached San Diego.

Decommissioning and sale[edit]

She was decommissioned in the 1970s and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 October 1979. She was sold to Taiwan on 17 December 1980, and renamed ROCS Yun Yang. She was reclassified as Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG-927). Yun Yang was decommissioned on 16 December 2003. She was sunk by Hai Hu (SS-794) as a target off Ping Tung on 6 September 2005.

Note: "Jane's Fighting Ships" and "Register of US Ships of the US Navy 1775-1990" said that Hamner became ROCS Chao Yang reclassified as Guide Missile Destroyer (DDG-929).

Awards[edit]

Hamner was awarded five battle stars as well as a Presidential Unit Citation for her outstanding service in Korea.

As of 2006, no other ship in the United States Navy has been named Hamner.

References[edit]

External links[edit]